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Bonavista Lions Club celebrates 50 years

Lewis Fifield, MHA Neil King, Brenda Mouland and Anita Lodge at the Bonavista Lions Club 50th anniversary earlier this month.
Lewis Fifield, MHA Neil King, Brenda Mouland and Anita Lodge at the Bonavista Lions Club 50th anniversary earlier this month.

The Bonavista Lions Club celebrated their 50th Charter year earlier this month, having been an integral part of the community and fundraising for half a century.

Last year alone, the club presented over $110,000 in donations to various groups. The Bonavista club currently has 37 members.
The celebration on Saturday, April 1, saw many awards and honours presented to its members, including the Melvin Jones Fellowship award, Judge Brian Stevenson Fellowship award, and the Lion Max Simms Memorial Camp Fellowship award, among others.
Lewis Fifield is the longest serving local member, current local treasurer and past District Governor, having been part of the Lions Club in Bonavista for 44 years.
Fifield says not a lot of clubs manage to reach 50 years.
“Putting that kind of money into your community and your area should mean something,” he said.
The club was chartered on Jan. 15, 1967, with 20 members.
It has had a long and storied history, starting in a room at the “O Happy Sight” motel, leading to their time in the old Anglican school in Canaille, right up to moving to their current location on Church Street in 1981.
Bonavista also has a unique connection to a past International Lions president, John Stickley, who was born in Bonavista before moving to Boston, Mass. and subsequently, Charlotte, N.C.
Stickley served as president from 1956 to 1957 and was awarded many honours throughout his time with the Lions Club.
In Bonavista, the local club has consistently supported community groups like the annual Santa Claus Parade, school breakfast programs, youth groups, seniors homes, minor hockey, figure skating, churches, Sunday schools, scouts, guides and sea cadets.
They sponsor a monthly soup kitchen at the Anglican Church, and sponsor a student youth exchange, which sees young people travel to countries like Peru in South America.
One of the most recent major contributions to the community came when the club donated $12,000 for a splash pad at the Bonavista playground, which is set to be ready for this summer.
The large majority of the funds raised for donations come from TV bingo, running every Monday night. The weekly event has been a staple in the area since the early 1980s.
“That’s our bread and butter,” says Lions president Brenda Mouland.
They estimate about 1,000 to 1,200 cards are sold a week for bingo.
While the town of Bonavista has been incorporated for just over 50 years, the Lions Club has been around for nearly as long — fittingly enough — considering the impact the volunteer organization has had on the community in each year of its half century tenure.

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca
Twitter: @jejparsons

List of award winners

There were many deserving award winners at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Bonavista Lions Club.
The following were recognized:
• Lion of the Year – Lion Anita Lodge;
• Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards – Lion Michael Duffett, Lion Sharon Keel, Lion Marjorie Mouland, Lion Brenda Mouland;
• Judge Brian Stevenson Felllowship Awards – Lion Alex Abbott, Lion Bernice Clements, Lion Alma Gough, Lion Doris Johnson, Lion John Keats, Lion Laura Keel, Lion Jacqueline Duffett, Lion Calvin White;
• Life Membership/Lions Clubs International – Lion Lewis Fifield, Lion Calvin White;
• Lion Max Simms Memorial Camp Fellowship Award – Lion Lewis Fifield.

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